What motivates teachers and their students? The relationship between teachers’ motivation to teach, students’ motivation to learn, class room conditions and systemic aspects
Applying self-determination theory (SDT) the paper focuses on conditions of teachers’ motivational regulation to teach and their association with students’ motivational regulation to learn. So far only very few studies considered situational and systemic aspects of teachers’ motivational regulation as well as its association with students’ perceived basic need support and motivational regulation (e. g. Pelletier et al., 2002; Roth et al., 2007).
In our study we chose a multidimensional approach by investigating students’ and teachers’ motivational regulation respectively their perceptions of the support of basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence and relatedness. We also explored teachers’ perception of their students’ learning motivation in the classroom considering intrinsic motivation and three forms of extrinsic motivation. Furthermore, teachers completed an adopted version of the `constraints at work scale´ for teachers (Pelletier et al., 2002).
The sample consists of 3266 students from secondary schools and their teachers (N= 248).
The results of structural equation modelling show that the working conditions at school (support of basic needs) predict autonomous motivation to teach. However, perceived constraints (such as pressure from school administration) are not associated with teacher motivation. Furthermore a direct interrelation between teachers’ and students’ motivation was not found. However, students’ motivation is moderately predicted by both, their teachers’ perception of student motivation and by students’ perceptions of basic needs support in the classroom.
Altogether, the results indicate that investigations using a systemic approach concerning teachers’ and students’ motivation may contribute to our understanding of teachers’ and students’ motivation.
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